A suspected DUI driver driving the wrong way on Skyway Road outside of Chico allegedly crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle, killing his passenger and sending both drivers to the hospital on Monday, January 12th. The crash was located just outside the town of Paradise. The deceased victim has been identified as Jonna Therese Smith, 51, of Chico.
The crash occurred around 2:20 p.m. on Skyway Road near Skyway Crossroad. According to authorities, Richard Wayne Wilson, 65, was driving his Dodge Neon west in the eastbound lanes. He eventually collided with a Toyota Prius traveling east, driven by Steve Valencia, 58, of Paradise. Smith, a passenger in Wilson’s car, died at the scene of the crash. Both Valencia and Wilson sustained serious injuries and were taken to Enloe Medical Center in Chico.
Prior to his treatment at the hospital, Wilson was arrested on charges of felony manslaughter and suspicion of DUI. Authorities believe Wilson was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.